Local Terrorists

AUSTIN, Texas — A 27-year-old man has been arrested in connection with a makeshift bomb that was found outside a clinic where abortions are performed, authorities said Friday.

Paul Ross Evans has been charged with use of weapons of mass destruction, manufacture of explosive material and violating freedom of access to clinic entrances, according to a statement issued by the Austin Police Department.

KELLEY SHANNON, The Associated Press
Friday, April 27, 2007; 8:06 PM

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Five members of a self-styled militia were denied bail Tuesday after a federal agent testified they planned a machine gun attack on Mexicans, but a judge approved bail for a sixth man.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert Armstrong said he could not grant bail to the five because of the agent’s testimony and the amount of weapons — including about 200 homemade hand grenades — that were seized in raids Friday in northeast Alabama.

“I’m going to be worried if I let these individuals go at this time,” he said.

Associated Press, May 1, 2007

CHERRY HILL, N.J., May 8 — A group of would-be terrorists, allegedly undone after attempting to have jihad training videos copied onto a DVD, has been charged with conspiring to attack Fort Dix and kill soldiers there with assault rifles and grenades, authorities said Tuesday.

Five men — all foreign-born and described as “radical Islamists” by federal authorities — allegedly trained at a shooting range in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains to kill “as many soldiers as possible” at the historic Army base 25 miles east of Philadelphia. A sixth man was charged with helping them obtain illegal weapons.

Dale Russakoff and Dan Eggen, Washington Post
Wednesday, May 9, 2007

My guess is that of these three events, most readers are only familiar with the last. The Fort Dix plot, which may or may not turn out to be legitimate, was certainly worthy of attention. Yet the other two attacks are part of a bigger picture, a long history of right wing domestic terrorism, which may be much more frightening.

Alleged Muslim terrorists– even with all the ambiguity implied by the involvement of police informants– are more interesting to corporate media because they are so easy to demonize. The white supremacists and Christian identity movement folks are a real problem, simply because they do not look so very different.

Yet the bombing of family planning clinic sand the harassing of their clients has taken a terrible toll on the quality of life in the United States. Xenophobia, homophobia, and young white men with powerful weapons; links among right wing violence, Christianity, and misogyny. That might sound a little too much like the Supreme Court.

About Ray Watkins

I was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital. I grew up in Houston, as a part of what we only half-jokingly call the Cajun Diaspora. At a certain point during the Regan administration, I had to leave, so I served in the Peace Corps, Philippines, from 1987-89. I didn't want to return to the United States just yet, so I moved to Paris, France, where I lived for three years or so. I then moved back to Austin, Texas, where I had received my Masters Degree, and (eventually) began a Ph.D., which I completed in 1999. I spent a year at Temple University and then accepted a position at Eastern Illinois University where I worked until May of 2006. I now work exclusively on line (although that may change) for Johns Hopkins, the Art Institute Online, and Smarthinking.com. I can be reached most easily via email: raywatkins [that 'at' symbol] writinginthewild.com

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